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Optimal timing of post-operative haematocrit check in obstetric and gynaecological surgeries

O.O. Aworinde
K.J. Olufemi-Aworinde
O.A. Ogunlaja
T.A. Olutogun
S.E. Akinola
A.S. Adeyemi


Background: Haemorrhage is a feared albeit common complication of surgery in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Measurement of haematocrit post operatively is believed to be part of good medical practice since it gives an inkling to intraoperative and immediate post-operative blood loss and the need for blood transfusion. The objective of the study is to determine if there was any difference between haematocrit values gotten on day 1 and 2 and also to determine the optimal time for the post-operative haematocrit check.
Methods: One thousand patients who had surgery in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital (LTH) and Bowen University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ogbomoso were recruited. Capillary blood samples were obtained at 24hours and 48 hours post operatively. The haematocrit was determined using a 24 place micro haematocrit centrifuge and the values checked using a haematocrit reader. Frequency tables and charts were made and results were tested for significance with level of significance (x) set at 0.05.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 32.88±9.45, with a modal age group of 21-30years. The commonest obstetric surgery done was caesarean section (60.6%) while the commonest gynaecological surgery was myomectomy (13.8%). There is a significant difference between the haematocrit values gotten on day one and two (p= 0.000). There was significant difference between the haematocrit values on both days and the unit the patient was managed; the type of surgery done and the age group of the patient.
Conclusion: The haematocrit on postoperative day 2 is more representative of the blood loss.

Keywords: postoperative, haematocrit, obstetrics, gynaecology